Rafael McDonnell, communication and advocacy manager at the center, said he was researching government contracts held by Texas-based businesses and checking to see if those businesses had comprehensive nondiscrimination policies.
He found that the bank offered sexual orientation protection, but not gender identity employment protections. FRB Dallas and its branches in Houston, San Antonio and El Paso had around 1,200 employees in 2011.
McDonnell sent a letter in June to meet with FRB Dallas representatives about adding gender identity and expression protections, to which he received an email declining a meeting. After an email response that went unanswered, McDonnell sent a second letter in August, but received no response. He then sent a follow-up email in September. that has gone unanswered.
“It’s baffling,” McDonnell said about the process. “Other branches of the Federal Reserve Bank offer fully inclusive employment protections. Many of the nation’s largest commercial banks offer full LGBT employment protections. To be dismissed in an email, without responding to other attempts to contact, makes me wonder how truly committed FRB Dallas is to inclusivity.”
FRB Dallas senior Vice President Tyrone Gholson did not respond to requests for comment.
The Federal Reserve is fiscally independent because it receives no government appropriations and remained open during the government shutdown. The Fed funds its activities with the interest earned from loans to banks and investments in government securities and from the revenue received from providing services to financial institutions.
The Fed’s financial goal in providing services is to generate only enough revenue to cover costs. Any excess earnings — money made above the cost of operations — is turned over to the U.S. Treasury.
Despite its leadership’s resistance to the change, FRB of Dallas’ board of directors has many members connected to inclusive companies.
McDonnell encouraged people to email Gholson, as well as call 214-922-6000 to urge him and FRB of Dallas CEO Richard Fisher to add the protections. Fisher is a Democrat who ran against Kay Bailey Hutchison for U.S. Senate in a special election in 1993 and in the regular election in 1994.
Read the two letters below.